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Stabroek News
Joann before the attack

A young mother had her face disfigured on Thursday morning when a jealous ex-lover of her partner threw acid in her face while she was in the house she shared with the man at Bartica.

Joann Lynch, 24, was saved from further injury by her sister who managed to stop the knife-wielding woman in her tracks. The woman managed to escape, after what family members described as a well planned attack, with the help of persons in the area including an inspector's wife who was instrumental in her gaining access to the couple's home by lending her the spare key. The attacker lives in Georgetown and police have been unable to apprehend her since she fled the Fifth Avenue, Bartica location.

Yesterday, Lynch, who is the mother of a four-year-old girl, was in pain in the Georgetown Public Hospital (GPHC) and had difficulty seeing as her eyes have been affected by the corrosive fluid. Family members, including the man at the centre of the issue, surrounded her and broke down in tears constantly as they looked at her disfigured face.

She is expected to leave for Trinidad early this morning in an attempt to save her eyesight.

According to the family members the man left the home at around 4 am last week Thursday for the interior where he works leaving Joann alone at home. She told relatives that she heard a noise and when she looked outside she saw the woman, who she knew, walking outside with a knife in her hand. Shortly after, she heard the door being opened and taking no chances she ran into the bedroom and locked the door. It was the woman who had entered the house with a spare key.

A disfigured Joann

Joann's sister, Yonette Sears, told Stabroek News that her sister called her very early in the morning at her Fourth Avenue home, and asked her to take a taxi and come immediately. She said she arrived shortly after and saw her sister through the louvre window and she directed her to knock on the door.

She said she knocked on the door several times but it remained locked and she then attempted to open it but could not do so. She then heard someone open it from inside and when she entered she saw the attacker sitting on a chair in front of the locked bedroom door with a knife in one hand and a liquid in a brown bottle in the other.

She asked the woman what her problem was and she told her to instruct her sister to come out of the bedroom and she would find out. Sears said she told the attacker she could not call her sister out since she was armed. At that moment Joann thinking she was safe opened the room door. In a split second, the woman jumped up and threw the liquid into her face and then rushed up to her with the knife. But Sears said she held on to her waist and pushed her aside. She and the woman then had a struggle by which time Joann had started to scream in agony. Sears said she looked at her sister and saw her eyes discoloured and the skin from her lips falling to the ground.

In tears at this point, the woman said she took her sister and placed her to sit on a chair and she turned her attention to the attacker but by this time the inspector's wife and another woman restrained her and helped the assailant to escape.

Sears said in her panic she took her sister to their home first where her mother on seeing her helped to get her to the Bartica Hospital. She was later transferred to the city.

The family members are angry that the landlady gave the woman the keys to the house knowing that the woman and the man were no longer together.

The man told Stabroek News that he and Joann had been together for over a year and that he discontinued the relationship with the other woman who is the mother of his two children. He once lived with the woman in the city.

Joann's sisters said the woman would from time to time visit Bartica but their sister never had any physical or verbal confrontation with her since she stayed out of her way. From all reports the woman travelled to Bartica and waited until the man left before borrowing the key and entering the house. After the brutal attack she got a boat and headed to the city.

"Joann is quiet, she don't like no quarrel she does just be quiet, I don't know why she do this to the girl," one relative said.

Joann also has burn injuries on her neck, chest and hands while Yonette also suffered some minor burns on several parts of her body including her face.

The police are investigating.

Stabroek News